Posts Tagged ‘Sheri Johnson’

Week At The Knees

March 6, 2014

Wednesday March 5th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I am more than a little apprehensive about the events of the next week, and I’m not going to lie about it. A better word might be ‘squeamish’, or maybe just plain old ‘scared’. Dented cans are a doubting bunch by nature, and we are the way we are in the first place largely due to demolished dreams and devastating disappointment. It’s only natural that we dissect the future with disdain.

I’ve got a pair of days starred on my immediate calendar that quite frankly could go either way. The first is on Saturday when I meet up with my siblings in one room for the first time as adults. I have only had contact with one – my brother Bruce – but that contact has gone extremely well.

It has only been via email and Facebook, but we’ve had some very well thought out exchanges and touched on some very painful and delicate subjects without being anything other than honest and intelligent. It has been nothing but positive, and every time we’ve done it has gotten better.

I’ve had zero interaction with my other brother Larry and sister Tammy, and after many years of silence I just can’t help but be a bit skittish. In my mind I don’t intend to go in with any ugly feelings, but in the back of my brain I have a fear of unintentionally saying the wrong thing and blowing it all up. I don’t think that will happen, but it has been so long that I just don’t know.

Larry is pretty laid back and we have never had any major arguments, but Tammy and I had a big blowup twenty years ago, and that may still be an issue with her. I don’t know where she is in her head with it or me in general, but I’m sure I’ll find out. She did agree to show up, so that makes me feel good. I just hope we can get past everything and start over. That’s the goal here.

I don’t think it’s possible to avoid at least a few awkward moments, but I’m hoping beyond all hope we can get over the hump and make it work. I’m not expecting anything huge, but I want to make the best of something I’ve waited for an entire lifetime. We’re all people, and people have feelings – and faults. All I really want is for us to acknowledge that and erase any past hostilities.

The other date that is looming large is next Tuesday March 11th. That’s the date of the comedy benefit show for former Zanies Comedy Club employee Sheri Johnson. I’m coordinating at least the comedy part of it, and I’ve been doing all I can to spread the word. It’s always a challenge to get fannies in seats, and now less than a week out I have NO clue if anybody will show up at all.

I’ve reached out to local and area media, and everyone else I can think of that knows Sheri. It’s an especially tricky endeavor, as it’s for just one person that no offense most people have no idea who she is. It doesn’t mean her cause isn’t worthy, but it’s tough to get people out to support one person rather than an entire cause. If it were for breast cancer, fine – but who is Sheri Johnson?

I have done more comedy benefits for more causes than I can count, and more than a few have been complete flops. Nothing is worse than showing up to an empty room, and that’s my biggest fear for Tuesday. We’ve got a super lineup of talent booked, and I hope we can pull off a stellar night for Sheri. She’s in rough shape right now, and can use the financial support. From a karma point of view, this is the right thing to do. It just is. I did my best, but is it good enough? We will soon see. Donate link: http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/sharing-for-sheri/140736.

Not one but two events in the next week have me more than a little concerned.

Not one but two big events in the next week have me more than a little concerned – but all I can do is wait.

One is personal, and this is the other. PLEASE help spread the word if you can. Sheri can really use some help right now.

One is personal, and this is the other. PLEASE help spread the word if at all possible. Sheri can really use some help right now.

Living In Limbo

January 10, 2014

Thursday January 9th, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

I can feel a ball of excitement brewing in my immediate future, and it’s giving me a lot of hope for a great year in 2014 – which I predict will be my greatest ever by far. I shot for last year to be that and in many ways it was, but the vibe I’ve got now is markedly better. This is at full throttle.

Nothing is ever perfect though, and I’m deeply disturbed by the horrific situation my roommate Sheri is in. It’s magnified a hundred times, because I’m living in her house. It’s silent to the point of ridiculousness, and I can’t help but be saddened all over again every time I walk in the door.

Sheri has a dog named “Indy” (short for Indiana) that’s a little fuzz bucket that was never more than five feet from her at any time. He’s a yipping little thing and could be annoying at times, but he protected Sheri with his life. He was her pride and joy, and she treated him like her only child.

I’ve never been a pet owner, but I would never think of being mean to an animal. I could sense how important Indy was to Sheri, and even though I’d only been here a month he was starting to grow on me too. He always tried to get in my room, and when he did he’d dig through my stuff.

I wasn’t thrilled at first, but I learned to keep the door closed and it was fine. He wasn’t hurting anything, and had a very playful vibe. He scampered around the house, and if I took time to play with him he totally got into it. He loved the attention, and it felt like he was getting used to me.

It got to the point I would look forward to playing with him when I got home. I could hear him yipping when I opened the garage door, and he’d jump up on me when I walked in the house. It’s not that way now at all, and it’s eerie. The silence is deafening and serves as a constant reminder.

Sheri’s long time friend Debra stops by on occasion to give me updates. Nobody is exactly sure of anything, other than the fact Sheri will be laid up indefinitely. She will have a long tough road back to say the least, but nobody is quite sure where “back” will be. They’re still examining how much damage there was, and it’s a process that will take a while. I have no experience with this.

Debra said I was welcome to stay here for the immediate future, but after that nobody knows. It may come to the point where they need to sell the house, and that’s understandable. She also said it’s good that someone is living here to keep the walk shoveled and look after things. I told her to keep me informed, and whatever I need to do is fine. I’m living in limbo, but I’ll help if I’m able.

The very least I can do is organize a comedy benefit show, and I put the word out today for all the Zanies staff that know Sheri. I’m sure Zanies will let us do the show in one of their locations at some point, and I think it needs to be done for everyone. Obviously Sheri can use some money to pay some immediate expenses, but it will be good for all of us to come together to support too.

I have hosted so many benefits at this point that part is the very least of my worries. I’ll be able to get comedians and we will do a show. We’ll have a friendly crowd that will show up to donate to a worthy cause. The Zanies staff will get together and have fun, and we’ll give 100% of all the night’s proceeds to Sheri. That’s all great, but it just seems SO wrong that we need to do it in the first place. Life is short, delicate and comes with zero guarantees. This is not a pleasant scenario.

Sheri Johnson worked at Zanies Comedy Club in Vernon Hills, IL for twenty years. She has a huge heart, and suffered a major stroke recently. Prayers are nice, but she needs money to pay her immediate bills.

Sheri Johnson worked at Zanies Comedy Club in Vernon Hills, IL for twenty years. She has a huge heart, and suffered a major stroke recently. Prayers are nice, but she needs money to pay her immediate bills.

The Vernon Hills location has closed, but there are three more in the Chicago area and I'm sure they will let us do a benefit in the near future. It's the right thing to do, and I will make sure it happens.

The Vernon Hills location has closed, but there are three more in the Chicago area and I’m sure they will let us do a benefit in the near future. It’s the right thing to do, and I will do all I can to make sure it happens. We all need it.